Ideas on People and Performance, Team Building, Motivation and Innovation

Tag: ideas for motivation

The ROUND Wheels of Today are the Square Wheels of Tomorrow

Or, “Thoughts on Continuous Continuous Improvement…”

I’ll start this by begging the question. I’ll guess that 100,000+ people have seen this and fully agreed that the following illustration represents how things really work in most organizations:

square wheels image of how things work

For the past 20 years, we have shown the above and asked people to talk about what they see. Uniformly, they identify things that are now working smoothly as well as all sorts of communications and leadership issues. Plus, they see and agree that the round wheels already exist, that there are lots of ways to make pretty simple improvements if the gang would just stop, step back, and then implement those ideas. They are also in agreement that stepping back is a key thing, but hard to do since they are simply expected to keep pushing and pulling.

And they often can and do make improvements. Improvement does tend to be continuous in many organizations. People discover and implement better ways of getting things done. But those same improvements will also need improvement. One does not ever complete a continuous improvement process — it is a continuous process. It is something called Continuous Continuous Improvement by people in the Department of Redundancy Department!

At the same time, we must recognize that the rest of the world is continuing to also improve and innovation and new tools and processes will continually become available, changing the above to something more like this:

square wheels celebration poem


So, the key learning point is that we can never stop improving and never stop looking for ideas and processes that will make things work better, including both our work lives as well as our personal lives. We can also look toward using the horses or taking the trains to make our journeys easier.

And that is not to say that the occasional buggy ride is not any fun. Just don’t continue to do things the same way, especially if you are a wagon puller. After all, the View at the front of the wagon is a LOT different than the view at the back!

square wheels illustrations view front back


Communications, vision and perspectives are all keys to the process of continuous continuous improvement process. (grin)

For the FUN of It!


square wheels author

Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.

Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott at

Follow Scott’s posts on Pinterest:
Scott’s blog on Poems and Quips on Workplace Improvement is here.


<a rel=”author” href=”″ a>




Managing The Mavericks – Caring for the High Maintenance Employee

Lisa Woods penned a really great article on managing the people who are the atypical and hard to manage high-performing and uncommon individuals.

Elegant Solutions

She starts her article with:

“The High Maintenance/High Value Employee.  They earn that name because they require a full fledged management program to reach their peak performance, coupled with an extensive maintenance program to keep them functioning there.  It sounds like a lot of work and it is, but when it comes down to results, if you want your business to stand out above the rest, these are the people that will help get you there, make your business more competitive and create a notable reputation in your industry.”

For me, this gets at a lot of issues and opportunities and, as someone who has found it hard to work in most workplaces, I resonated with a lot of what she has to say. I’ve now been running my business since 1984 and I am glad that I am not working at the Post Office or in some bureaucratic / administrative job somewhere…

Here are the 8 traits that identify these High Maintenance / High Value people:

  1. They are NOT great team players. They would prefer to do their own thing and make their own rules.
  2. They don’t care much for company policy. They know their own value and can’t be bothered by structure.
  3. They don’t like a lot of attention and public praise, for others or themselves.
  4. They are there to work, bring value and move on.  Office cheers and high fives appear very superficial to them.
  5. They are very willing to help others if asked, but do not follow up and maintain a working dialog with the individuals they’ve helped.  It is more of a on-off relationship.
  6. They typically create outstanding relationships with their customers, clients, suppliers etc.
  7. They have a reputation for getting away with things, going rogue, without recourse, because people are afraid of their emotional, sometimes angry, reaction.
  8. They show signs of greatness & creativity, but it is inconsistent, mostly occurring when a problem is brought to them, or when they went on one of their rogue adventures.
  9. They probably have notations in their performance reviews that indicate large swings of ‘outstanding’ to ‘needs improvement’.  At some point they may have been considered for termination because of it.

Yep. I can sure identify with that list. And I’ve had the distinct pleasure of working with some of those people over the years. You can probably guess, after reading Lisa’s article that she can also identify with that framework in some way.

Lisa also shares ideas as to how to support these people to optimize their continued engagement and high performance. Innovation and improvement will come from the edges of organizations and these people are often on the edge.

You can read her whole blog here – Caring For The High Maintenance/High Value Employee

Written by Lisa WoodsPresident

lisa5Lisa is a successful entrepreneur, world-class marketing strategist, and dynamic business leader with more than 20 years experience leading, managing and driving growth. Throughout her career, Lisa has been influential in integration techniques, organizational and cultural overhauls, financial turnarounds and developing employees into exceptional leaders, results driven managers and passionate team contributors.


Hope that you found the article of interest,

For the FUN (and benefit) of It!

Scott small pic

Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant. 
Connect with Scott on Google+ – you can reach Scott at

Follow Scott’s posts on Pinterest:

<a rel=”author” href=”″ a>

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén